Wattle and Myrtle

James Lister Cuthbertson

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GOLD of the tangled wilderness of wattle,
Break in the lone green hollows of the hills,
Flame on the iron headlands of the ocean,
Gleam on the margin of the hurrying rills.

Come with thy saffron diadem, and scatter
Odour of Araby that haunts the air;
Queen of the woodland, rival of the roses,
Spring in the yellow tresses of thy hair.

Surely the old Gods, dwellers in Olympus,
Under thy shining loveliness have strayed,
Crowned with thy clusters magical Apollo,
Pan with his reedy music might have played.

Surely within thy fastness, Aphrodite,
She of the Seaways, fallen from above,
Wandered beneath thy canopy of blossom,
Nothing disdainful of a mortal’s love.

Aye, and her sweet breath lingers on the wattle,
Aye, and her myrtle dominates the glade,
And with a deep and perilous enchantment
Melts in the heart of lover and of maid.

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